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    Jo Kyung Ran

    22. Looking for the Elephant

    By Jo Kyung Ran

    The Polaroid camera I have is a Polaroid Spectra. It uses film about 1.5 times larger than an ordinary Polaroid, and it’s more expensive. He bought it for my birthday a few years ago. I remember how happy I was when I unwrapped the present and saw it was the camera I had wanted so much. He took the first picture. I’m looking down a little, my head slightly bowed. The lipstick smudge on my wine glass is still plainly visible. I must have asked him, Should I take one of you? He shook his head. With one pack of film you can take ten pictures—there were nine left. He didn’t want me to, but I wish I had taken one of him to keep that day. Because we suddenly broke up shortly after that. And now I can’t love him, and I can’t hate him anymore.

    The camera—I brought it back home and got a shot of my family gathered around the table.

    *

    I usually sleep lying straight, flat on my back. When my stomach bothers me, I roll over onto my left side and fall asleep facing the wall. But no matter what position I sleep in, one of my arms stretches out—like it’s a habit—and ends up dangling down from the bed. Suddenly, I feel the sensation of someone gently holding my hand. I wake with a start. The room is dark. The warmth lingers on my palm. I try flexing the fingers of the hand that dangles from the bed. I feel like somebody sneaked in—he’s lying on the floor or sitting at the foot of the bed, not even a tremor of movement. But I don’t even consider leaping out of bed or quickly snapping on the light. For some reason I don’t think it would be right. . . . Read More.

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